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Presidio County Issues A Shelter-In-Place Order And Mandates Curfew For County Residents

Carlos Morales
Marfa Public Radio
The Presidio County Courthouse in Marfa is quiet these days as officials are mainly conducting meetings online, in effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

Presidio County officials late Tuesday joined their neighboring Big Bend counties in issuing a shelter-in-place order. The order followed Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s statewide mandate for residents to stay at home.

Expanding on a previous disaster declaration, Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara is now requiring Presidio County residents to shelter in place, "to stay at home." The order, like others across the state, allows for essential businesses and activities to continue. Presidio County's order also includes a curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. for residents unless they're conducting or traveling to or from an "essential activity."

Currently, there are no identified cases of COVID-19 in Presidio County, but testing capabilities in rural parts of the state have been incredibly limited. Officials though are putting these new procedures in place to mitigate the potential spread of the coronavirus in rural communities. The order mandates that six feet distance is kept between residents while outside their homes at all times. 

Individuals are allowed to go about approved activities such as exercising, grocery shopping, and caring for a family member. There are exceptions to the order for specific workers and businesses deemed essential. 

Essential businesses that can remain open include:

  • Grocery stores
  • Hardware stores
  • Liquor stores 
  • Gas stations
  • Banks
  • Funeral homes
  • Child care

For the complete list, refer to the shelter in place order at the bottom of the page. 

Judge Guevara is mandating that Presidio County hotels, motels and short-term rentals continue to close and vacate any guests unless under certain circumstances. That includes if the space is a person's primary residence, if guests are active military, law enforcement, a national reserve member part of emergency services personnel, or a healthcare professional or employee.

Presidio County is empowering law enforcement to carry out its order. Anyone found in violation of the decree could face a fine up to $1,000 for each violation. 

Carlos Morales is Marfa Public Radio's News Director.